Home > Unreal > Rebuild World > Chapter 143: One more time

Rebuild World Chapter 143: One more time

Author:Hikoukai Category:Unreal Update time:2022-09-12 22:55:46

-

Akira was taking a dip in the bath inside his house while thinking about what happened that day, his consciousness was hazy thanks to the bath.

“…For some reason, I feel so tired today though I didnt get into any fights.”

Akira was exhausted. It must have been because a lot of things happened that day, both good and bad. He let the warm water help him recover his physical fatigue.

Alpha was also in the same bath, just like usual. She looked at Akira as if she was thinking about something.

Akira noticed Alphas gaze.

“What”

“As I thought, it has minimal effect unless you can touch it, huh”

“What”

“Im talking about when Shizuka hugged you.”

Akira, who was leaning on the bathtub, slowly sunk deeper into the water. When his mouth and nose finally went underwater, he breathed in some water, which startled him as he immediately pushed his body back up and coughed.

Akira panicked for a bit since he was about to drown there.

“…W-what are you even talking about!”

“Like I said, Im talking about when Shizuka hugged you. To be honest, I think outlook wise, Im better than Shizuka. But even so, it seems that it doesnt affect you that much, so I guess its because you cant touch me.”

Alpha did not seem to be teasing him. She was simply asking an honest and straightforward question to Akira, and that made Akira waver a bit.

“W-was I really fawning that much”

“Well, different people will have a different opinion about it, Ill leave it at that.”

Akira flustered for a bit since Alpha only gave a vague answer. Looking at that flustered Akira, Alpha did not show any sign of teasing as she started scolding him.

“Well, I guess Ill give you a little warning. She thought of you as a small boy, which you are, but theres a limit on how far this can go, right”

“I-I know.”

Akira decided that he had to make sure not to leave any bad impression on Shizuka.

Alpha did not lie there. It was true that each person would have a different opinion on that matter. And even if Shizuka saw Akiras expression at that time, it was unlikely for her to think that Akira was fawning over her, she would only think that Akira only felt relieved and nothing more.

But the actual reason why Alpha warned Akira was to check how he would react to that.

She was checking how far people could manipulate Akiras course of action, which could affect her own objective. In turn, she might need to come up with a special plan in such a scenario. At least for now, Alpha was able to confirm from Akiras reaction when he was hugged that she needed to be careful about that.

—*—*—*—

Alna was walking through the Kugamayama lower district in the middle of the day, she looked terrified. She kept looking around her surroundings as if someone was hunting her.

But in reality, no one was actually hunting her. But even so, Alna kept walking while keeping check of what was behind her, what laid on the next corner, what was hiding in the dark alley around her.

A sound suddenly came from behind her. Alna flinched, she looked back while trembling. A signboard just fell over behind her. It was not because someone was hiding behind it, it was simply because of the wind. Once she realized that, she sighed in relief and her expression softened.

But her expression immediately tensed up again. She still looked terrified as she mumbled.

“…Why is this happening to me”

Alna kept on running without knowing if anyone was chasing her and without knowing where she could run to.

Last night, Nasha came to Alnas hideout, that was where it started.

Alna, who was already sleeping, immediately woke up when she heard someone knocking on her door. It was already deep into the night, it was not the time where people would usually visit others. So, she carefully checked outside the door and she saw Nasha standing there with a grim face.

Alna let Nasha come into her hideout. Nasha scanned her surroundings first before she stepped in, she looked around the room with a grim expression, she felt slightly relieved after she confirmed that there was no one else there, but the grim expression on her face did not change.

It was obvious that there was something big going on, Alna tried to calm Nasha down as she asked Nasha what was wrong.

“Nasha, what happened”

“Alna, are you alone”

“…Y-yes.”

“Is there anyone else other than me and you who knows about this hideout”

“I dont think so. I didnt tell anyone about this place except you.”

Nasha looked at Alna with a serious expression and said to her.

“Calm down and listen closely. Once were done here, get away from this place as soon as possible. This time, hide somewhere where even I dont know about, okay”

“W-whoah there, whats going on”

Alna started to feel scared. Nasha placed both of her hands on Alnas shoulders, her voice was trembling as she was about to tell a painful truth to her best friend.

“Akira is going to kill you, he told the gang to look for you.”

Alna froze.

Alna had heard from Nasha that Akira was the Hunter supporting Sheryls gang. But it did not seem like Akira was looking for her, at least until now.

Akira would eventually forget about her with time. So after talking with Nasha, Alna was planning to join Sheryls gang later once it grew bigger and got more members. And just to be safe, she was planning to fake her name too, that way, she might be able to sneak in into the gang without getting noticed by Akira.

Akira was not someone who would leech off from the gang, while the boss of the gang, Sheryl, even put some effort to teach the members of the gang how to write and read. Compared to the other gangs in the slum city, Sheryls gang was a significantly better place for children from the slums. A lot of small children wished to join that gang, and if it grew so big to the point that it had a branch, it would be even safer for Alna to sneak in. Alna had her hopes up when she heard that plan from Nasha.

But now, here, her hope was crushed.

Alna asked Nasha while trembling.

“W-what Why Since when Everything was calm until now, right”

“I have no idea, they suddenly told us to keep our eyes for you. They gave us a picture of you and told us to report back if we spot the person in that picture. And it seems that they distributed that photo to everyone in the gang.”

Nasha showed the picture that she received from the gang to Alna. Alnas face turned pale as if she just saw something that she could not believe, the person in that picture was really her.

“H-he even has my photo… But how How did he get that When did he take this photo”

In reality, no one took a picture of her. That photo was produced straight from Akiras memory when he saw Alna. Its quality was not bad, as a matter of fact, the person in that picture could easily be identified as Alna.

Nasha tried to calm Alna down since it seemed that Alna was about to scream.

“Alna, calm down, calm down, alright Just calm down!”

Alna looked at Nasha with teary eyes, she was about to break.

Nasha then slowly and calmly said to Alna in order to calm her further.

“Calm down, please, just calm down. Theres something important that I need to tell you and I want you to listen to me closely. I received that picture when Alicia, an officer in the gang, told me to keep my eyes if I spot the person in that picture. But then, she also said that theres no need to get out of my way just to look for you. As in matter of fact, she told me not to do that, she said that its okay to just report where and when I spotted you later.”

“W-what do you mean Theyre looking for me, right”

“I dont know the details either, but from what I heard, you have a Hunter friend who is stronger than Akira. Thats why theres no need to forcefully bring you in since its dangerous. Alna, do you have any idea who that Hunter is”

Alna shook her head.

“I see, then it must be a misunderstanding. They might be talking about that Hunter who helped you back then. Who was it again… Katsuya, was it again”

“…Thats right, Katsuya-san.”

When Alna said Katsuyas name, it sounded as if she placed her hopes on him.

Nasha then continued.

“I think you have two choices here. First of all, you can try to run away as far as possible from here. Although the lower district is pretty big, we dont know how far Akira would go to look for you. But Im sure that he wont go as far as looking for you in another city, so you just need to run away at least that far.”

It would be suicide to walk all the way to another city. If she really chose that option, Alna would need to make an arrangement for transportation. But doing that was not cheap, after all, the wasteland was filled with dangerous monsters. So not only for the transportation, she would need money to arrange for the escorts too.

“Your other choice would be to seek help from that Katsuya. If hes a kind person and if hes someone who wont let the person who he saved once get killed, even if it was only out of a whim, he might be willing to help you again. Akira himself said that Katsuya is stronger than him. So if that Katsuya told Akira not to mess with you, he might stop looking for you.”

Nasha has never met Katsuya before, so she did not know what kind of person this Katsuya was. But she knew that Katsuya was kind enough to help out a total stranger, so she thought that if Alna desperately begged, he might decide to help her again.

“It might be even better to try both the ways out. Try and ask for that Katsuyas help, and if it doesnt seem like hell help you, then make a plan to escape to another city.”

Nasha gave Alna some hope. Thanks to that, Alna was able to calm down for a bit. But it did not fix her situation at all.

It was just that Alna had two possible ways out and both of them were unlikely to work. She might not have any means to run to another city, and Katsuya might refuse to help her again. Both choices did not give a guarantee that she would be saved.

Nasha pulled out a pistol and some money, she then handed them both to Alna.

“Use this, it might be not much, but its better than nothing.”

Alna was so surprised and flusteredly said.

“T-this pistol, isnt it the gangs property! If you get caught…!”

Nasha smiled at Alna as not to make her worry.

“Dont worry, just use it. Ill be fine, I can just tell them some lie.”

“B-but!”

“Itll be fine.”

Nasha hugged Alna and stopped her words midway, she then looked lonely at Alna and said.

“…Im sorry. Although I call myself your best friend, this is all I can do for you. I did think of telling Sheryl about it and ask for her help, but it seems that wont work too. She is scared of getting on Akiras bad side, so I dont think shell help out someone who Akira is planning to kill. As in matter of fact, Im sure that if she knows Im your close friend, she would do anything to make me leak your location.”

“T-then, you should come with me too.”

Nasha was still hugging Alna when she shook her head.

“No, Im sure it wont be much trouble if the gang lose one person worth of money and Katsuya might help you if youre alone. So both the choices you have might not work if Im with you, thats why I cant come with you.”

“…Nasha.”

“Moreover, things might change later and you might not need to run away, like Akira might get killed somewhere soon. Hes a Hunter after all, so it wont be strange if hes suddenly dead. Although, when that happens, it might be the end of the gang too. Whichever the case, if something like that were to happen, only people in the gang would know about it, so Ill need to stay in the gang. And if that happens, Ill try to let you know, but dont get your hope too high.”

Nasha lightly smiled and hugged Alna tightly.

“This might be our last goodbye, Im sorry but I have nothing else to say other than I hope youll be well.”

After she said that, Nasha released Alna from her hug, she then said to Alna with a serious face.

“Now then, Ill head back now. After this, leave this place and hide somewhere that even I dont know. Make sure to act carefully, always assume that they have interrogated me and Ive told them everything that I know about you. Ill do my best to resist, but I cant promise you that I wont leak anything.”

Nasha confirmed that Alna nodded with her teary eyes, she smiled at Alna to encourage her for one last time before she left.

After that, Alna packed her stuff with teary eyes and left her hideout just like what Nasha told her to. She had no plans where to go, she had no hideout that she never told Nasha about.

Alna walked in the middle of the night and picked a random back alley to catch some sleep.

When she woke up, the sun was already high up. She then remembered everything that happened last night, stood up and continued walking in fear.

“…Why is this happening”

There was no one there who would answer her mumble.

Alna was wandering aimlessly in the lower district of Kugamayama city. Although she was not aiming for any place in particular, she unconsciously headed to a certain place. It was the place where she met Katsuya, she unconsciously headed there while hoping for a miracle to happen so that she could meet Katsuya one more time. As she walked through the alleyway, her expression was a mix of terror and resignation.

She then eventually got out of the alley and stepped into the main road, that was when she spotted Katsuya.

Alna was dumbfounded as if she could not believe what she saw. Katsuya noticed Alna, smiled at her and said.

“Ah, well, we meet again.”

Alna saw his smile and realized that it was not a dream. Right at the next moment, Alna started to cry, she was holding herself from crying from yesterday, and now the dam broke open.

Katsuya was flustered when Alna suddenly started crying, she clung to Katsuya while still crying.

“P-please help me…”

The miracle from the last time had happened once more. Her wish had come true. This meant that she had decided to abandon her other choice.

***

There was an abandoned warehouse near the slum city. Armed people gathered inside that abandoned warehouse.

All of them looked to be already experienced in handling their weapons and they looked like thugs. Looking at their equipment, they seemed to be your common Hunters. But the air around them was more like that of robbers. They were exuding an ominous aura saying that they had lost their sense of logic to the point that they were willing to not only hunt the monsters in the old-world ruin but also normal humans.

They were talking about their next plan inside that nameless warehouse.

“So whats the plan here”

“This will be it, everyone. Well do it tomorrow, I have no one else that I can ask to come nor do I have the plan to take more people in. After all, the more people we bring, the less our individual share would be.”

“Ive secured the route to sell the relics that well rob. I also have contact with a fencer too. After all, we can get relics with unknown origin as many as we can, but it would be bad if they started asking where we got them, right”

A man suddenly complained about their prey this time.

“Are you sure its worth robbing If we only get cheap relics, it wont even be enough to pay for the drinks, you know”

“Some information that I gathered say that some of the relics there could be resold for even 100 times its original price. We should be able to find good relics there. 10,000 Aurum relics might fetch us 1,000,000 Aurum, and 1,000,000 Aurum relics might fetch us 10,000,000 Aurum. That place is worth robbing.”

Another man who was still in doubt voiced his doubt.

“If you go even that far, it actually makes it sound a little bit fishy though. Hows the enemy”

“They have about 10 armed children, and one of them is a Hunter.”

“Small children, huh… I heard that there have been many strong young Hunters lately, does it have anything to do with those children”

“Ahh, its about that guy from Drankam, right I heard that Katsuya guy defeated a bounty monster only with young Hunters, Ive also heard that they did pretty good during that incident in Mihazono ruin.”

The guy who was doubting the plan said with a hoarse voice.

“Whoah there, its a bad idea trying to fight someone who can defeat the bounty monster, you know”

“Drankam is trying to be a proper Hunter gang, they even have some connections with the Hunter Office. Im sure they wont be protecting a back alley shop in the middle of the slum city. Im sure the shop that were aiming for has nothing to do with that gang.”

Another man intervened.

“I heard that the young Hunter protecting that gang is not that strong. I heard that when a thief stole his wallet, he could not fight back and just ran away when the Hunter protecting that thief intimidated him.”

“So basically hes not that great of a Hunter, huh If thats really the case, then that shop might be not worth that much, no Are you sure we can get any money from robbing that place”

“If youre worried about money, I have insurance. I heard that the shop would likely get popular in the near future. Someone made a request to crush them sooner than later and we can take some extra profits on the side too.”

Another man then awkwardly said.

“…I see, Ive never heard about that info before, but… If it will really bring us money, I dont have any complaints.”

The guy who led the group put some pressure on his words as he said.

“Then just shut up!”

“…Humpph!”

They were a group of people who were tied together because of money. As long as whatever they were going to do was going to bring them more money, they would not break up their alliance. It was not like they were acting completely separately from each other, all of them had enough skill to work together with each other as a team. With their level of skills, they should be able to safely hunt for old-world relics to some extent.

But even so, they chose to hunt for humans instead since they thought that it was an easier way to earn money. As long as they kept getting results confirming that their assumption was correct, they would keep doing the same thing. At least, until the day they were proved to be wrong.

***

That day, Akira spent his day in Sheryls base again.

Sheryl did not open the shop every day. It was not because Akira could not come to her base every day, it was more because there were other ways of gathering money that they needed to develop. Not to mention, Akira also asked them to teach the gang members how to read and write, and sometimes, they had to help Katsuragi too.

Sheryl and her gang opened their stalls and their shop irregularly about 3 days a week. Since Akira came to the base early that day, they decided to open their shop that day.

Akira was waiting inside Sheryls private room together with Sheryl. When someone came in telling that she had a customer, Sheryl would change into her dress and go to the shop together with Akira.

Every time she had a customer, Sheryl would change to her dress and welcome the customer, and then she would change back to her casual attire when she returned.

One of Sheryls men came and said that she had a customer. So Sheryl started changing to her dress.

While in the middle of changing her clothes, Sheryl suddenly heard Akira throw a question at her.

“Isnt it better if you just keep wearing your dress rather than changing to it every time someone comes”

Sheryl smiled and said.

“Its a matter of feeling. Its better this way, knowing that I have a special dress for it helps me focus.”

“Is that so”

“Dont you feel a bit relaxed too when you return home and take off your augmented suit Its something like that but only reversed.”

“…Well, you have a point there.”

Akira sounded as if he was trying to avoid that subject.

Alpha smiled at Akira teasingly.

“To be honest, you often think that its too much of a trouble to take it off so you often dont take off your augmented suit even when youre home though.”

“I know, I know, Ill be more careful.”

“Its important to have this kind of switch, you know. It might be a good idea if you learn that from Sheryl.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

Alpha looked at Akira, who reacted just like a small kid getting annoyed when he got scolded, and smiled.

Akira could feel that gentle smile from Alpha and felt a bit embarrassed. But he made sure to stiffen his expression so that would not leak out.

In the middle of changing her clothes, Sheryl could be seen using the undies that she received from Akira. Those were also old-world relics. She received those when Akira thought that they would not fetch him much, although they could get him quite a lot of money in reality.

Sheryl had gotten used to having Akira seeing her in her underwear, and it took even less time for Akira to get used to seeing Sheryl in that situation.

Sheryl put on her dress and thought.

[…I wonder if I should at least act more bashful to make Akira interested in me. But considering everything that happened until now, I dont think that would have much effect though, not to mention that it seems Im already gotten used to it too. Im pretty sure Akira would see right through me even if I act bashful, good grief…]

Sheryl glanced at Akira. Although someone as beautiful as Sheryl was changing cloth next to him, Akira did not show any interest at all and it was highly unlikely that he was acting indifferent.

[…So basically, theres no need to fake anything, right But I wonder what kind of situation he would show his embarrassed side. Now that I think about it, even back then when I straddled him, even though I think hes happy with that, I dont think hes embarrassed at all… Was it because I was the one who took the initiative If Akira was the one who took the initiative, I wonder if he would react differently. Thats right, for example, when I change my dress, what if Akira is the one undressing me one by one, Im sure hell have a different reaction…]

Sheryl imagined all kinds of scenes in her mind.

She imagined Akira undressing her layer by layer while slightly blushing, Akiras hand was trembling as he gently took off her dress. As her dress fell to the ground one by one, she blushed and sent an embarrassed gaze to Akira who was undressing her while trying to hold back her smile.

Sheryl unconsciously added more spice to her imagination. As her movements in the real world slowed down, her imagination grew wilder and wilder.

As Sheryl started to drown in her imagination, Akira suddenly called her.

“Sheryl!”

“Yes!”

Sheryl was so flustered when Akiras voice pulled her back to reality. Akira found it a bit weird.

“…Youre taking your time changing to your dress there, isnt it better if you hurry up for a bit. It would be bad if the customer arrives in the shop before you, right”

“Y-Youre right, Im sorry, Ill hurry up.”

Sheryl started to hurriedly change to her dress while still being flustered. Akira looked at her and tilted his head in confusion. This time, Sheryl was blushing for real, she was not acting.-

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